Leadership and governance

Leadership and governance

Leading sustainability in practice

Creating change within our institution requires senior management commitment and clarity of purpose. Without clear leadership from the top, social responsibility and sustainability will not be considered strategically important.

The strategic document Our University: A Framing of Futures,  clearly indicates a commitment to the principles of sustainability in all we do.

Our strategy: Sustaining our Future

The Sustainability Strategy lays out the systemic approach to be taken in response to Our University: A Framing of Futures and its commitment to embedding the principles of sustainability into all that we do. It provides the direction for Macquarie University with regards to sustainability up until 2019.

More details about our approach to embed sustainability into the practices, processes and performance of the University, which is based on the Learning in Future Environments (LiFE) framework, can be found in this document.

University strategy

In 2013, the University community came together to define our long term aspiration and the elements that will make our impact truly distinctive. From this came Our University: A Framing of Futures, the strategic document to providing guidance for our work ahead. Within this document, our commitment to the principles of sustainability is clear.

Sustainability annual report

The Sustainability Annual Report is based on a calendar year performance and provides information on our progress towards sustainability. Whilst we recognise that sustainability encompasses three main aspects being the environment, social and economic factors of an organisation, the report focuses primarily on the first two. Details pertaining to the University's detailed economic performance can be found in the Macquarie University Annual Report.

Policies and procedures


Several policies and procedures have been developed or reworked to include principles of sustainability including:

Each new or modified policy is developed through consultation with staff and students on campus. The participatory process involved is critical to the acceptance of and adherence to policies that will guide sustainability measures at Macquarie.

Embedding sustainability into key systems

Sustainability Representative Network (SRN)

The Sustainability Representative Network (SRN) comprises sustainability champions from all departments and faculties across campus, and provides an avenue of communications between Macquarie University Sustainability and staff. The SRN provides education and awareness concerning sustainability into the various faculties and departments of the University.

The Sustainability Representative Network is supported by the Vice - Chancellor and the Director of Human Resources, with representatives receiving formal recognition of their role on the Network, and appropriate time off to attend meetings and capacity building workshops. Macquarie University Sustainability supplies the essential support to the SRN (eg. information, education materials, training, meeting and network facilitation) in a form that is appropriate to enable the representatives to adequately fulfill their role. The role of the SRN is directed towards achieving the University's sustainability objectives.

Sustainability Induction Modules

All new staff are required to undertake two online sustainability modules as part of their induction to the University. The modules are designed to be fun and engaging and provide our staff with opportunities and resources to learn more about sustainability, and their role in sustainability at Macquarie University. If you have an iLearn log in, you can access the online modules through the Community Units section of iLearn.

Reporting is important for benchmarking our performance with standards, laws, industry and best practice. It keeps us on track for meeting targets and, importantly, warns us when we are off track and highlights areas for improvement.

Macquarie University's three major annual reporting activities are:

National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS)

Reporting to the Clean Energy Regulator on our greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and energy production.

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act) introduced a single national framework for Australian entities to report information related to the greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and energy production from their activities. Its purpose is to help inform government policy and to meet Australia’s international reporting obligations.

The NGER Act requires entities to report their carbon emission if they exceed a pre-determined threshold. Macquarie University has reported annually since reporting commenced for all facilities and entities under the operational control of the University, on all activities with greenhouse gas or energy use implications

We report on:

Scope 1 Emissions

Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse gas emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the entity. Scope 1 can include emissions from fossil fuels burned on-site (eg, natural gas), emissions from entity-owned or entity-leased vehicles (eg, petrol), and other direct sources (eg, wastewater treatment plant).

Scope 2 Emissions

Scope 2 emissions are indirect greenhouse emissions resulting from the purchase of electricity generated off-site.

Energy Production on-site

Macquarie University produces electricity on-site from our co-generation plant and solar PV arrays. Some of this energy is used on-site and some exported to the grid.

Reporting Structure

Macquarie University's NGER reporting structure reflects the corporate structure and includes materially operating subsidiaries (fully-owned entities) and assets owned by the University.

Sustainability Annual Report

Sustainability reporting is a way for organisations to disclose environmental, economic and social impacts that are material to its day-to-day operations. Sustainability reports can be used to demonstrate organisational commitment to sustainability, to monitor and track performance over time, and to compare and benchmark performance with standards, laws, industry and best practice.  

Sustainability reporting is important for staying on track for meeting sustainability targets. At Macquarie, our Sustainability Strategy PDF, 911.55 KB sets out targets guiding our sustainability programme until 2019. Sustainability reporting helps us to monitor our progress towards the goals set out in the strategy to make sure we stay on track.

Sustainability reporting is also important to meet the expectations of our community, and to give us greater credibility through being open and transparent in all of our activities.

Each year we produce an annual report, telling our story. The reports give us a better understanding of our performance and highlight areas for improvement.

EcoFootprint Report

Reporting against the University's 2030 One Planet Strategy

EcoFootprint Report Scope

The aim of the University's Ecological Footprinting is to report on and measure progress against the University's One Planet Strategy for the Marsfield Campus. The scope is to report for all assets and activities that occur on Campus which are within the University's operational control.

Ecological Footprinting Reporting Framework

The Ecological Footprint reporting structure also reflects the University's corporate structure, reporting for both the parent company and materially operating subsidiaries. During the preliminary stages of reporting, the data is presented in a consolidated nature purely as a result of data availability.

Ecological Footprint can also be tailored to investigate the various faculties and buildings that make up Macquarie University. The adaptable nature of this methodology allows for increased insight into resource consumption with various levels of analysis.

Committing to sustainability is more than the operational aspects of developing a vibrant and sustainable campus.  Committing to sustainability is about making it business-as-usual in your organisational culture. To this end, embedding sustainability in all we do is a collective responsibility. Target: Better Futures is designed to help your department work towards that.

Having a rating tells your attendees and the general community that you are striving to minimise negative impacts and strive for more positive outcomes. Complete the Sustainable Event Summary Form by checking those actions that you were able to incorporate into your event. Or even use this tool as a way to identify areas that you can improve next time. If you have any questions, please contact us at sustainability@mq.edu.au

Guides have been developed to enable staff and students to reduce the ecological footprint of events and catering to help make Macquarie University more sustainable.  Our tour guide has also been developed for staff, students and community to discover all the different ways Macquarie University is embedding sustainability throughout its day-to-day operations.

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